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Vermont Venture Network

Vermont Venture Network

first_imgVermont Venture Network serving the entrepreneurial community since 1989May Monthly Breakfast MeetingThursday, May 23, 2002, 8 A.M.Michael H. Gurau, President, CEI Community Ventures, Inc. 36 Water Street, PO Box 268, Wiscasset, ME 04578, Tel: (207) 882-7552, E-Mail: [email protected](link sends e-mail)CEI is a non-profit community and economic development organization founded in 1977. CEI’s latest initiative is CEI Community Ventures which is a community development venture capital fund formed pursuant to the SBA New Markets Venture Capital Program. CEI Community Ventures is eligible to invest in all of Essex and Orange counties in Vermont plus 24 other census tracts, including Burlington.Randee Fagen, Vice President Sales, Marketing and Customer Services C3Gateways Services, Inc.5005 Jean Talon West, Suite 200 Montreal, PQ H4P 1W7Tel: (514) 908-2400“Multi-Tasking CRM”C3Gateways has developed a proprietary “middleware” solution, ContactIP, to manage the customer interaction with call center personnel. In July 2001, the company acquired 1000% of the shares in Helpoverip.com, which was the initial developer of the customer relationship management technology.A discussion period will follow, and your questions are encouraged.Location: The Radisson Hotel60 Battery StreetBurlington, VT tel. (802) 658-6500Meetings: Meetings are typically held the fourth Thursday of every month, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.To pre-register: Please mail your registration form and check (payable to: VVN) for $15 to: PO Box 5839, Burlington, VT 05402. This fee includes a continental breakfast.Pre-registration will also be accepted by facsimile to (802) 658-0978 or via email to [email protected](link sends e-mail). Please help us speed your check-in by pre-registering. Thank you. Please also be sure to include your email address.Name ________________________________________Title ________________________________________Company _____________________________________Address _____________________________________City/State/Zip _________________________________Telephone _________________________________Email Address _________________________________Annual Membership is $25. Members receive notification of all Vermont Venture Network events, distributed via mail and email, for a period of one year.last_img read more

Trans-Sylvania Productions Covid-19 Updates

Trans-Sylvania Productions Covid-19 Updates

first_imgPostponed  Uwharrie Forest Gravel Grinder (May 9, 2020)Uwharrie Gravel Run (May 9, 2020)Swatara Creek Run (May 16, 2020) June 2020 Events We have two events (Holly Shelter Gravel Grinder and Holly Shelter Gravel Run) at the beginning of the month that we will make a decision on around the middle to end of May. We also have two events (Rattling Creek Run and Rattling MTB Marathon) scheduled at the end of June that we will make a decision on around the middle of June. Canceled/Rescheduled to 2021 Trans-Sylvania Mountain Bike Epic – New Date is May 25-29, 2021Seven Mountains Creek Run – New Date is May 29, 2021 It is our intention to host these races in 2020.  When we know that it is safe to have events again, we will assess the situation and work out a new date with each location.  With the uncertainty of COVID-19 and when we can host races again, we have made some decisions to our May events.  See below about those decisions.  Virtual Races We are finishing up putting together some run and cycling virtual races.  We hope this will give you all a little competition to look forward to while we’re waiting to get back to competing together in person.  We will compete for sponsor prizes, TSP swag and credit towards future TSP events.  More to come on this soon. last_img read more

Losing a Colleague and Friend

Losing a Colleague and Friend

first_img Lt. Col. Montenegro: I was in Rio de Janeiro and met other comrades at the Army School of Physical Education, some of whom were getting ready to go to Haiti. They were the ones to break the news to me. It was a shock. Col. Montenegro: He was conducting an important MINUSTAH meeting inside the United Nations compound. When he felt the first tremors, he ran with the others, looking for a way out. He was found near the building’s exit, so it was a matter of seconds that he didn’t make it. Another comrade, Lt. Col. Alexandre Santos, was near him, under the debris, with his legs caught, but he survived after a rescue that took over four hours. DIÁLOGO: How did you learn of his death? DIÁLOGO: The loss of a close friend is very painful. Is there any comfort in knowing he died while performing such a noble function? Lt. Col. Montenegro: The feeling of loss is very intense, because I knew him very well. He was a very serious and qualified professional. He was an idealist. He believed strongly in what he did. He had an above-average dedication to his military career. He was so experienced that he was designated Commander [2007-2008] of the 26th Battalion of Parachute Infantry, one of the most important ready-response units in our Army. It was his second time participating in the Brazilian mission in Haiti, this time as the MINUSTAH Commander’s right-hand man. DIÁLOGO: Do you have any information about the moment of his death? Lt. Col. Fernando de Galvão e Albuquerque Montenegro: He was in my class in the military academy in Rio de Janeiro in 1977, but our friendship strengthened when we both went to the Military Academy of Agulhas Negras. Col. Emílio belonged to the infantry like me and also like me, was an athlete with the water polo team. It was a friendship of over 30 years, and he was a person whom I admired enormously. center_img DIÁLOGO: How many years had you and Col. Emílio been friends, and how did you meet each other? Lt. Col. Montenegro: It is undoubtedly comforting. We participated together in the Special Forces Battalion for a long time and performed various high-risk activities, from actions along the border against the Colombian FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia], to parachuting, free fall from high altitudes, where the use of oxygen tanks is required during the jump, and also diving in zero-visibility areas. However, we never expected to lose someone so close and so used to dealing with danger. By Dialogo April 01, 2010 We, The Association of rural workers of the Guapore River Valley in the State of Rondonia. on behalf of our associates and Brave Leaders. As we mourn an unrecoverable loss when we lose a warrior that protects only the good in favor of our beloved families. We then ask God to enlighten the families of THE HERO LOVED BY ALL OF US. The loss of a hero, it is very sad when Brazil loses an innocent fighting to protect us, from the evil people, that is why we ask for help from our armed forces to defend our borders for many years we haven´t had control over traffic and crimes without limits because we are certain that at the end of the day the politics will do nothing for us to be a Country with order and decency we only see sadness, pain homeless people depressed without a future and without a solution since they have already lost the taste of life due to all those human losses without any value for them it has to have more. More rigor and not pursue the innocent as they did with the Association because they wanted to organize an array in the State because we are going to charge a lot so that our children and grandchildren have at least their lands returned not to further increase this barbarism that only hurts our hearts when we see human loses of soldiers from whichever institution. If you are honest do you need to be a prisoner or dead? Just because you are a good citizen. That is sad, very sad!!! Hermes the Knight Good evening, I had the pleasure of working with Cel Emilio in 2006. I was his formed soldier. He was very vibrant, warrior, dedicated to the Brazilian army, I served the country. It’s very sad to loose someone like that, but life goes on, Brazil. (NOTE: This was translated from Portuguese) I served for two years under Colonel Montenegro. He had extensive operational experience: commandos, jungle warfare, special forces, parachuting, skydiving… a good guy… May God watch over Col. Emilio. I served by that time with Cap Emilio at 1st BFesp in Camboatá, Rio de Janeiro. A good military man very competent and experienced, my condolences to his family…. May God rest his soul Good morning, I’ll try be brief.I am an enlisted from 2004, I served at the Paratroopers Brigade 26th BI PQDT until 2011. By the end of 2005 I was invited by the garage Commander to be the driver of the 26th Commander, COLONEL EMILIO. I confess that I was concerned, because it isn’t easy to work with a grade officer, there are lots of missions and meetings and it requires flexibility. Nevertheless, I accepted the job. As months passed by I realized that the most valuable thing is for you to be at a place that you like, not for money reasons but for love (especially because the military pays are a little behind). I also realized that I just had got a new friend, a friend who during our trips always transmitted words of optimism, he always remembered the time he spent at AMAN [the Brazilian Army Military Academy] or the Special Operations Battalion. The time we spent together was short, only one year and three months, but it was enough for me to know that Emilio was a man dedicated to his family (I remember that on his wife’s birthday he asked me to buy a flower bouquet and take it to a hospital in Marechal where she worked (his wife was also an Army Reserve Lieutenant). Finally, today I return to the past and remember our talks, jokes, like when his favorite soccer team lost (Fluminense), or when he spent time at Bar do Cesar (Cesar’s Pub) at Marechal [neighborhood] to meet his work colleagues and distract his mind a little bit, because the week at “dormeia” was always very busy. I miss everything so much… Ladies and gentlemen, I confess that I am at my work (Itaguaí) moved with emotions, remembering the good and bad times I spent by this military man’s side, who performed his duties as Commander of the 26th Bi Pqdt SANTOS DUMONT BATTALION. This way I come to an end to my words, pouring out my heart if I may say, regarding this honorable military who will never get out of my mind… GOOD JUMP AND NICE LANDING!! DIÁLOGO: What are you going to miss the most about your companionship with Col. Emílio? Editor’s note: Col. Emílio Carlos Torres dos Santos was promoted to Major General after his death. To be selected to participate in peace missions abroad is considered a distinction among Latin American military personnel. Deaths are rare in these situations. The earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12 changed that. Brazil, which has led the peace mission in Haiti for almost six years, had more than 1,200 military personnel in the country at the time of the tragedy. Eighteen Brazilian Soldiers did not survive. To discuss what it means for a member of the military to lose a friend, Diálogo spoke with Lt. Col. Fernando de Galvão e Albuquerque Montenegro, the head of the Education Department of the Center for Jungle Warfare Instruction (Centro de Instrução de Guerra na Selva) in Manaus, Brazil. His close friend, Col. Emílio Carlos Torres dos Santos — married, with two daughters — dedicated his life to saving the lives of others, and perished in the quake. last_img read more

Navies from 15 Countries Attend Warships Conference in Rio de Janeiro

Navies from 15 Countries Attend Warships Conference in Rio de Janeiro

first_imgNew ships on the wayVice Adm. Cunha said the Submarine Development Program, which is building four conventional and one nuclear-powered submarine, is essential to fulfill this mission.“The Brazilian Navy, however, is not limited to warfare, it is also a navy that develops social programs, contributes to the development of the defense industry, is committed to international agreements, and works on search and rescue missions,” Vice Adm. Cunha said. “The Brazilian Navy needs to secure properly tested, reliable, and high-tech vessels, with high performance at sea, to complete our thousand tasks and missions.”According to Rear Admiral Hermann Ibere Boehmer, head of MB’s Procurement and Program Management, the Tamandaré-Class Project, which handles the construction of four corvettes, is the most important project to upgrade MB’s current fleet. “Our vessels need to be upgraded. We have 11 aging surface ships, averaging 36 years. Except for the Barroso Corvette, they have all been operating for more than 20 years,” said Rear Adm. Ibere, adding that the modern Tamandaré-class corvettes are expected by 2024.Partnering to combat common threatsMost speakers stressed the importance of participating in international missions, training with other navies, and the exchange of experiences and collaboration among countries to fight the threats to security in the region.“The Uruguayan Navy is well-known for its commitment to peacekeeping missions, although the navy has less than 5,000 members. In recent years we participated in several international missions; we have two bases in Antarctica and we also carry out missions such as maritime search and rescue, border control, and control over jurisdictional waters, an area equivalent to double the country’s land mass,” said Rear Admiral Ricardo Della Santa, commander of the Uruguayan Navy.Rear Adm. Della Santa also addressed upgrading the fleet of the Uruguayan Navy. To overcome budget challenges, the officer said that Uruguay is considering the acquisition of ships from other countries, including Brazil’s Inhaúma-class corvettes. “Today, on the event’s first day, I made several contacts for projects we intend to carry out, and we will possibly meet partners here to make them a reality,” Rear Adm. Della Santa said. The conference facilitates solutions for these matters.Captain José Jorge Fortín Aguilar, chief of the Honduran Navy General Staff, spoke about the challenges faced to protect his country’s maritime border, and stressed that combating narcotrafficking is the priority. “From January to June 2019, we made 35 arrests and seized 223 kilograms of cocaine and 69 kg of cocaine paste. We need more personnel, new vessels, and training to be able to complete the mission. A coastal patrol vessel is under construction and will be delivered in December,” Capt. Fortín said.The conference ended with a tour of the P120 Amazonas OPV, which MB incorporated in 2012 to monitor the Blue Amazon. The vessel has great autonomy and the ability to operate with a helicopter and speedboats. By Nelza Oliveira/Diálogo September 10, 2019 Brazil hosted the Warships and Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Latin America Conference, June 25-27, 2019. Navy representatives from 15 countries — Argentina, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the United States, and Uruguay — attended the eighth edition of the annual event in Rio de Janeiro. This is the fourth time Brazil has hosted the conference since its 2012 inception. Prior editions took place in Colombia (2014), Ecuador (2015), Peru (2016), and Chile (2017).With support from the Brazilian Navy (MB, in Portuguese), 130 guests, including service members and representatives from the naval construction sector, and security and defense products, attended the conference. The objective of the event was to propose solutions to develop naval defense policies, to offer information on new resources and means, and to exchange experiences among navies worldwide.Brazilian service members opened the event by presenting an MB overview. Vice Admiral José Augusto Vieira da Cunha de Menezes, MB commander, said that the force is responsible for protecting the region known as the Blue Amazon, an area of 1.3 million square miles of sea, rich in Brazilian minerals and oil.last_img read more

Tropical Storm Hermine: Suffolk Issues State of Emergency as Concerns Grow

Tropical Storm Hermine: Suffolk Issues State of Emergency as Concerns Grow

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York With Tropical Storm Hermine threatening to batter Long Island for several days starting Sunday, officials on Long Island urged residents to prepare for the worst and to heed all warnings as the intensifying storm approaches. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone issued a state of emergency Saturday afternoon as the county recommended voluntary evacuations of Fire Island. “Due to the impending storm, the Village of Ocean Beach would recommend everyone leave Fire Island safely,” Ocean Beach village police said. “Fire Island will have high winds and prolonged flooding conditions.” The village said residents could expect ferry disruptions associated with the storm. The last ferry to leave Ocean Beach Saturday night will be at 9:40 p.m. Fire Island Ferry, the company that serves the western communities, said service will resume Sunday morning with the potential of service being suspended in the afternoon. Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano did not say if he intends to issue a state of emergency but he warned residents that storm surges reminiscent of Tropical Storm Irene are possible and 50 mile-per-hour wind gusts could create dangerous conditions. Residents in low-lying and flood-prone areas should prepare emergency go-kits and make arrangements with family members or friends in the event of an evacuation, he said. “Be prepared to leave your home,” Mangano said at a press conference at Nassau’s Office of Emergency Management in Bethpage. “This is not something you go walk around in or go outside if it’s not absolutely necessary,” he added. Long Island and New York City are under currently under a tropical storm warning. The weather service said “life-threatening” storm surges could cause flooding and cause damage to buildings, docks, boardwalks and piers along the coast. Nassau County is readying its shelter at Nassau County Community College in preparation for potential evacuations. Mangano said the county will notify residents when and if the shelter opens. Residents living in vulnerable areas were urged to review evacuation routes on the county’s website and replenish supplies ahead of the storm. “Obviously there’s a threat to homeowners” in flood-prone areas, Mangano said. PSEG Long Island said it has 1,500 line and tree personnel prepared to battle the storm and is coordinating with with up to 700 out-of-state crews. Hermine has spawned thousands of power outages since it barreled into Florida as a hurricane before being downgraded soon after making landfall. The weather service is projecting tropical storm conditions until Wednesday.center_img Tropical Storm Hermine is currently churning off North Carolina’s outer banks and is projected to move east into the Atlantic before tracking northward. The massive storm is forecasted to stall in the Atlantic where it’s likely to intensify once it catches the Gulf Stream. Hermine will still be far south of the Island by Monday but the storm’s bands will start battering the shore in the afternoon. Even so, forecasters at the National Weather Service in Upton said Long Islanders will begin to feel the effects of the storm mid-day Sunday in the form of storm surges up to four feet along the coast. Along with 50 mph wind gusts and sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph, Hermine is forecasted to dump more than inch of rain on the Island. Rain should start to fall Sunday night and continue through at least Monday. Labor Day could see the heaviest rainfall, the weather service said. “This storm should be around for quite a while,” said Upton-based National Weather Service meteorologist Jonathan Wolfe. last_img read more

COVID tests completed as Tour de France holds its breath

COVID tests completed as Tour de France holds its breath

first_img‘Living with the virus’ Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme appealed to fans to mask up and play the game on the roadsides.While the vast majority of spectators along the route have played the game, AFP has witnessed a number of unmasked fans approaching riders on the hillsides and shouting encouragement from close range.”It’s nowhere near as bad as most years,” said British rider Adam Yates who wore the yellow jersey for much of the first week. “For me it was all right.”French rider Julien Alaphilippe has also been impressed that most roadside supporters are fully masked up.”I haven’t been counting but most of people I’ve seen have been wearing a mask,” he said on Monday. “It’s well managed. There are people on the climbs, it’s part of the Tour. If everyone respects the rules and wears a mask, then the Tour can continue.” French Prime Minister Jean Castex, who was present on the Tour on Saturday, insisted it was important for France to see the Tour going ahead. “Living with the virus is the doctrine of the Tour and the government, but everyone must protect themselves and obey the rules so that the Tour can take place,” said Castex said.”What I have seen today in my Pyrenees pleased me.”Roglic, who came second in Sunday’s ninth stage, leads defending champion Ineos leader Egan Bernal by 21 seconds. Egan Bernal, Primoz Roglic and the rest of the peloton has undergone a second wave of COVID-19 swab tests with the samples sent to Paris for analysis, the Tour de France testing center confirmed to AFP on Monday’s rest day.Any team returning two or more positive PCR tests, be they riders, managers, doctors, masseurs or mechanics, risks being excluded from the remainder of the race.The original idea was to ban teams where two riders tested positive but two days ahead of the Grand Depart on August 29, as much of France went on red alert with the pandemic numbers rising, the French government requested that it also include support staff. Each team on this year’s trimmed down Tour was restricted to 30 members, but some arrived with as few as 25.Four members of the Lotto-Soudal team were sent home after two mechanics returned positive tests — the other two were their room-mates.The PCR test involves a famously queasy moment with a Q-tip inserted in each nostril and then twisted.”It’s uncomfortable, but necessary,” Astana’s Colombian captain Miguel Angel Lopez, known as one of the peloton’s toughest guys, told AFP with a smile.”We couldn’t have run all these races without all the precautions that have been put in place to protect us,” said the 26-year-old who was nicknamed ‘Superman’ in his homeland after fighting off three roadside thugs who foolishly tried to steal his bike when he was a teenager. “The final team has now been tested and these tests have now been sent to a laboratory in Paris for analysis,” a member of staff at the center told AFP.”The results will first be communicated to the team doctors, who must then pass those results on to the International Cycling Union.”They in turn will inform the Tour organizers,” the official said.The results will be announced officially on Tuesday morning ahead of stage 10, although teams may leak those results ahead of time. Topics :last_img read more

Aaron Ramsey backed for Manchester United move by former Wales boss Chris Coleman

Aaron Ramsey backed for Manchester United move by former Wales boss Chris Coleman

first_imgRamsey won the FA Cup three times with Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)Coleman has sympathy with Ramsey as he tries to settle into life in a new country, having managed abroad three times, at Real Sociedad in Spain, AEL in Greece and Hebei China Fortune.He is not ruling out the midfielder turning his fortunes around, but says that if he continues to sit on the bench, he should leave.‘I understand why Aaron went to Juventus. They are a great club and they always have a great chance of winning the league,’ continued Coleman.‘He had been at Arsenal a long time, probably didn’t achieve what he wanted to achieve because Arsenal haven’t achieved what they would have liked in the last 10 years.‘He went there for good reasons but he’s too good to be sitting on the bench. If he’s got a chance at Juventus and Sarri likes him then okay.‘He might be out of form, maybe it’s taking him a little while to get used to a different culture. It’s not a walk in the park when you move from one country to the next, a different type of football, a different ask. But he wants to be in the starting eleven. In my opinion he’s good enough to be in it.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityJuventus are keen to re-sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United, and Ramsey has been proposed as part of a deal to bring the Frenchman back to Turin.Club legend Alessio Tacchinardi has suggested sending Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot to Old Trafford in order to complete the deal.‘In order to get Paul Pogba back, I would let Rabiot and Ramsey go, even if the Welshman did show a few signs of life in the last few games,’ he told Tuttosport.AdvertisementAdvertisementMORE: Alessio Tacchinardi urges Juventus to sell former Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey and re-sign Paul Pogba from Manchester UnitedMORE: Unai Emery aims fresh dig at Mesut Ozil and claims Arsenal players didn’t want him as captainFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Advertisement Comment Aaron Ramsey has been backed to make a move to Manchester United (Picture: Getty Images)Aaron Ramsey would fit in perfectly at Manchester United, if he wanted to leave Juventus and return to the Premier League this summer, believes his former Wales boss Chris Coleman.The 29-year-old left the Gunners for Juve last year and has not quite had the impact he was hoping for as he traded north London for Turin.Juve are top of Serie A and were on course to defend their title before the coronavirus hiatus, but Ramsey has started just nine league games this season and two in the Champions League.The Welshman has scored four goals in his debut campaign in Italy, but without a guaranteed place in the starting XI, he has been linked with a return to England and Coleman feels Manchester United makes sense as a destination.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘He’s at his best when he’s under a bit of pressure, when he’s playing against the best teams and when he’s playing in the big games.’ Coleman told the Mirror.‘If it’s not going to happen for him at Juventus he’s definitely the type of player who can handle playing for Manchester United.‘When you play for a club like Manchester United the jersey is much heavier than when you are with a smaller club in the Premier League.‘If you play for a big club you’ve got to handle that extra weight. He certainly has the appetite for that.’ Advertisement Aaron Ramsey backed for Manchester United move by former Wales boss Chris Coleman Metro Sport ReporterSunday 17 May 2020 7:58 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link979Shareslast_img read more

Red Force, Hurricanes left frustrated as final day abandoned

Red Force, Hurricanes left frustrated as final day abandoned

first_imgPORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Both Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and Leeward Islands Hurricanes were left frustrated after rain, resulting in an impaired outfield, forced the abandonment of the final day of their third round game in the Regional Four-Day Championship here yesterday.Umpires carried out a number of inspections but any hopes of action at Queen’s Park Oval were dashed as the outfield remained unfit for play, and officials eventually called time on the encounter about an hour into the final session.All told, only 92 overs were possible in the game. Friday’s opening day was completely abandoned, only 57 overs were sent down on the second day while Sunday’s penultimate day saw only 35 overs bowled.Red Force, sent in by Hurricanes, were set to resume on 287 for eight, in an innings where opener Kyle Hope stroked 86 and debutant left-hander Isaiah Rajah got 69.Captain and part-time slow bowler Kieran Powell finished with three for 29 while off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall claimed two for 73 to move to 19 wickets for the season.For their efforts, Hurricanes picked up 5.2 points while Red Force ended with five points.last_img read more

South Florida dads participate in ‘take your child to school day’

South Florida dads participate in ‘take your child to school day’

first_imgFathers across South Florida took their kids to school on Wednesday.It has become a tradition in Florida, with local law enforcement officials who are also dads joining the party!Dads, deputies, firefighters, and safety patrol guards at Pinewood Elementary School in Martin County reportedly danced to music with their kids in the school’s car line.Police officers in Riviera Beach also joined their students at school.The department shared a series of heartwarming photos to Facebook.last_img

Toys for the Littlest Sandy Victims

Toys for the Littlest Sandy Victims

first_imgBy Michele J. KuhnFAIR HAVEN – Margaret Spicer is working to ensure a happy holiday season for children whose lives have been disrupted by Super Storm Sandy.Spicer, owner of Distinc­tive Toys, and a group of volunteers are collecting toys and donations of money and gift cards to purchase toys to stock a space where parents can come, select gifts for their children and have them wrapped, tagged and bagged in time for Hanukkah and Christmas. They are calling the project Sandy’s Toy Shoppe.The grassroots effort was begun by Spicer a few weeks ago. She has been soliciting donations from the specialty toy companies she deals with for her shop but is specifically looking for mass-market toys that many children want.“The big need that we have,” she said, is for toys like “the Barbies and the Legos and Hot Wheels and things like that. We are also looking for sponsors financially so that we can go get those toys … Those companies have such huge minimum orders that I can’t even buy them wholesale because I can’t meet the minimum.”Sandy’s Toy Shoppe is expected to be open during the weekends of Dec. 8-9 and Dec. 15-16 but Spicer won’t say where or when the event will take place to discourage those who are not eligible. Volunteers will pick up participants who do not have transportation. “It will be set up … as much like a toy store as I can do it,” Spicer said. “The parents will go through and pick and choose things for their children.” The number of toys a family will get will depend on the donations of toys and funds to buy additional toys.Young students who volunteer will be dressed as elves during the event and high-schoolers will help wrap gifts.Those coordinating the effort will get names of participants from churches, schools, community centers, social service agencies and other relief organizations. The agencies will reach out to those they know need some assistance, tell them about Sandy’s Toy Shoppe and invite them to participate.“If they say yes, their name gets put on a list. If they are hesitant, because they are embarrassed, those families can feed information to their churches or their organization of what they would like and those things will be given to them,” Spicer said. “These are people who have never had to ask for anything before. We don’t want to embarrass them. We just want them to receive the toys so the children can have them.”Individuals and families can approach those agencies and ask to be placed on the list. They may also contact Spicer at Distinctive Toys, 595 River Road, Fair Haven, or call the store at 732-747-8080, ask for her or leave a message if she is unavailable and she will return the call in short order. The store is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and most of the day on Sunday.“If somebody knows a family and they want to get them on the list, all they have to do is call,” she said. Those whose names are not on lists provided by reputable agencies will be asked for documentation from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) showing they have registered with the agency to prove they have been impacted by the storm.Spicer has teamed up with the Knights of Columbus Council No. 3187, Life Guard Ecumenical Foundation, and RecoverRebuild of Red Bank.The Junior League of Monmouth County will accept new unwrapped toys for Sandy’s Toy Shoppe during its Home for the Holidays shopping event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, at Rumson Country Day School, 35 Bellevue Ave., Rumson.Spicer also is getting great assistance from the American Specialty Toy Retailing Associ­ation (ASTRA), a nonprofit specialty toy trade group.Those who wish to donate may drop off toys, gift cards or checks at Spicer’s store or go online and donate via PayPal through Life Guard Ecumenical Foundation website at www.LGEF.net. Life Guard is a nonprofit, tax-deductible charity and all money donated to that foundation through Dec. 24 will go to fund Sandy’s Toy Shoppe.“I’m hoping this will be a wonderful event and people will be happy,” she said.last_img read more